To a greater degree than some other media sectors, radio appears to be more prepared for the digital transition. The recorded voice is mobile and can transform among other platforms with relative ease. Additionally, audio has tended to hold its audience better than some other sectors.
Traditional AM/FM radio remains the dominant way people listen. But, the advent of computers and portable devices has caused its hold to slip. People can now listen to what they want, when they want. And, shrinking ad budgets has hindered—but not devastated—the ability of traditional radio to make money. Stations have been able to gain advertising online and through podcasts, but how news will fare amid the changes remains to be seen.
To learn more about the major trends in radio in 2008, read the Audio chapter of the State of the News Media 2009 report, which offers specific analysis of the eight main sectors of media and special reports such as the Year in the News, Lessons from the Election, a study of citizen media sites and more.